A caregiver for the elderly recently discovered a letter addressed by a son to his mother. The letter was first published in the “Stretcher Bearers for Christ” newsletter in November of 1985. When the caregiver read the letter, she cried and asked for permission to make copies. It was a joy to give that permission and also to make the letter more available through the Stretcher Bearers for Christ web site.
My mother became an emotional invalid overnight after my dad died. My parents had been married for 63 years. Many tried to comfort and encourage my mother; but nothing anyone said or did seemed to make any difference.
One day, after a heartbreaking phone call, I sat down and composed a letter and accompanied it with a hand-carved sign that said, “Mother, I love you.” The letter and the sign turned her life around. After she received the letter, she was able to live in her own home for another two years with only a small amount of help from friends and relatives. These two years were exceedingly valuable. She left a great legacy of courage, love, hope and faith for her children and friends. She wore out many typewriter ribbons during those two years. I have many of her letters to prove it.
Peter D. Laue
Each time you cry out for help and you search heaven and earth for a way out, you provide me with a great challenge. My desire to help you and not just pamper you in the midst of your despair, drives me to pray and to sift and ponder each thought and word. What can I give you that would inspire and challenge you to finish your race with dignity? Many races are lost so very near the end. May that not happen to you.
You have given me many things. Above all, you have given me life. You have steadied my steps when I was little. You have taught me right from wrong. You have believed in me when I could not believe in myself. You pleaded with God for my life when I was ill; and He answered your prayers.
Now that you are old and your train is about to leave, now that every step is painful and a day can become an eternity, I, your son, desire one more gift from you. I desire to see you finish the race with courage. I desire to see your faith in your God and my God strong and vibrantly alive. I desire to see you bring all your problems and all your pain to the Only One who has all the answers. I desire to see victory in the midst of pain, confusion and fear. There is no greater legacy that you could bequeath upon your sons and daughters than to show us through your own example that Jesus is the only one worthy of your complete trust.
I beseech you, grant us the gift of seeing Jesus in you-His nature, His gentleness, His courage, His forgiveness. Money is spent, fame is soon forgotten, but your victory will be an inspiration to your son and his sons. Grant us the gift of your victory. It is written and it is true:
“I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” Philippians 1:6
Let no one rob you or your children of this precious promise. Together with Christ Jesus alive in you, you can finish the race with dignity, and inspire us through your example, to finish ours.